YouTube Therapy: Carolyn Lazard’s Playlist

New York


In a First Look profile for our November issue, Eric Sutphin discusses how Carolyn Lazard’s projects explore the concept of “disabled sociality”: “a collective subject-position rooted in the proposal that everyone be considered disabled until one opts out of the designation.” A Conspiracy (2017), currently on view at the New Museum as part of “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” comprises a dozen white-noise machines installed in the museum’s elevator, providing respite from the sensory input of the show. Lazard’s playlist for A.i.A.’s YouTube channel touches on issues of care, social responsibility, and the therapeutic applications of online videos. —Eds.

EMDR Self Administered with 528Hz Harmonics. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a psychotherapeutic approach that uses bilateral stimulation-appealing to the senses of sight, sound, and touch in a rhythmic left-to-right pattern-as a way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. I first experienced an EMDR session with a family friend years ago and found it to be really helpful for releasing trauma. I also love thinking about this therapeutic video as expanded cinema. It’s not just meant to be watched; it has a physiological effect on the viewer.

How to Caption YouTube Videos with Amara. Most web content is completely inaccessible to deaf or hard-of-hearing users. Amara is an amazing platform for open-source software supporting media accessibility. Their website connects you to an archive of YouTube videos that deaf and hard-of-hearing folks have requested for closed captioning, and provides the tools to caption videos easily. Amara can also be used for subtitling videos in a large selection of languages

Private Life of a Cat (1947). As we all know, cats and the internet go together like peanut butter and jelly. It would be weird to make a YouTube playlist and not include a cat video. But there are so many, it was hard to choose! So I bypassed the infinite cat videos online and picked this proto-internet cat film, The Private Life of a Cat (1947), exquisitely made by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid.

“Hacking the Subject: Black Feminism, Refusal, and the Limits of Critique.” I can get really into lectures and talks on YouTube, especially when I’m sick and feel less inclined to read. Sometimes listening to theorists talk about their work can feel more cognitively accessible than reading a book. In this lecture, the brilliant theorist and scholar Denise Ferreira da Silva argues that feminist critiques often reconstitute the terms of patriarchy through their use of subject/object relations. She calls for “the dissolution of the grammar of modern thought” vis-à-vis black feminism.

Raga Shuddh Sarang. This raga is my go-to jam when working my way through my morning routine. I listen to a lot of devotional music from different traditions and I am always struck by the simple elegance of Pandit Pran Nath. I’ve been thinking a lot about how minimalist music is coded as American and white when it’s an aesthetic philosophy that was essentially stolen and capitalized on by a small number of American white male New Yorkers. Americans are always late.

Racist pregnant white woman gets beat up. White people seem to be really confused about what their responsibility is in the dismantling of white supremacy. A few months ago, this video of a white woman beating up another white woman for hurling racial slurs at a Haitian security guard went viral. White people: watch and learn.

Visit Carolyn Lazard’s playlist here.